Athens, Crete, Santorini, Delphi, Spinalonga, Akrotiri
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Follow an odyssey of epic proportions during your 9-day family Greece vacation perfect for history enthusiasts and world explorers, classicists, and families thirsting for adventure. Travel to Athens, Santorini, and Crete uncovering ancient civilizations, enchanting ruins, captivating culture, and delicious flavors during active tours embodying the marvelous natural beauty of the landscape. Bring mythology to life at the Temple of Poseidon and listen for the whispers of the Oracle at Delphi. Search...
Athens – Arrive in Athens and Explore the Fascinating Ancient Plaka
Athens captures the family’s imaginations with images of ancient architecture and Byzantine churches, sophisticated philosophers, and charming cafes brimming with life. The Ancient Panathenaic Stadium rises out of the historical heart of the city with a capacity for holding 60,000 spectators. Runners competed in races around the 669-foot long track during Olympics dating back to the 4th century BC. The current iteration was erected to celebrate the remarkable history of the games in Greece after the reinstatement of the international tournament in 1896. Your flight lands at Athens International Airport, where your private transfer greets the family upon arrival.
The neighborhood of Anafiotika reflects the migration of peoples from the Cycladic Islands to Greece’s capital city. The whitewashed 19th-century homes climb up the northern slope of the Acropolis. Bougainvillea adds bursts of bright color to the bleached walls. The Parthenon stands atop the ancient hill like a jewel in the crowning summit visible from the narrow cobblestone walkways of the Plaka, the city’s oldest neighborhood. The village ambiance creates a charming welcome for the family amid the pastel-painted houses tucked behind peaceful corners near historical churches. The aroma of grilling meat and vegetables emanates from the boisterous restaurants with the quieter cafes hidden on the hillside.
Athens – Discover Ancient Athens at the Acropolis with a Sunset at Sounion
The Acropolis acts as the shining symbol of prestige reminding residents of Greece and visitors from around the world of Athens’s former glory. The emblematic steps leading up the hillside carry the impressions of Socrates, Sophocles, and Pericles, who helped lay the foundations of Western Civilization. After breakfast, your private guide leads the family along the winding trail to the top of Acropolis Hill. You walk through the marble columns of the Propylaea where a collection of temples adorns the rocky plateau. The Parthenon has an unmistakable draw as one of the most iconic temples of still standing in the ancient world.
The edifice was erected in honor of Athena between the 5th and 4th centuries BC. The pillars and metopes embody the classical style featuring Doric columns designed with symmetry and harmony in mind. Your guide points to the masterful friezes on the west end of the temple depicting the conflict between Athena and Poseidon. It is hard to compete with the breathtaking beauty and preservation of the marbled temples atop the Acropolis but your guide leads you to the Temple of Poseidon on Cape Sounion, located less than 45 miles from Athens. The remarkable 5th-century BC temple rises out of the craggy bluff plunging 213 feet into the Aegean Sea. At sunset, the colorful sky turns the whitewashed marble impressive shades of pink and orange.
Athens – Visit Delphi for the Mystic Oracle and the Archeological Museum
In the morning, the strong aroma of Greek coffee fills the dining room accompanied by the sweet scent pastry dough drifting through the kitchen. Your guide greets the family in the lobby for an immersive tour into the mythology of ancient Greece at Delphi. The city spreads across the slopes of Mount Parnassus at 1,837 feet above sea level offering exceptional views over the Gulf of Corinth. The remnants of the city clinging to the bluff add to the majestic ambiance emanating from the tangible history. The kids marvel at the pillars framing the Sacred Way, the main route leading from the gateway to the Temple of Apollo. Votive monuments and treasuries lined the street connecting pilgrims to their home cities across the country highlighting the diversity of politics in the ancient world.
The remains of the Temple of Apollo consist mainly of the foundations dating back to the 4th-century BC. The remaining pillars symbolize the architectural style of the Classical period surrounding the inner shrine. The kids take turns acting as the priestess Pythia who would interpret the words of the Oracle for pilgrims, politicians, athletes, warriors, and kings. The Archeological Museum is located between the ancient ruins and the modern town of Delphi. The galleries spread across 14 rooms arranged in chronological order. The frieze from the Siphnian Treasury depicts the battle between gods and giants for a thrilling look at the ancient artistry and captivating storytelling.
Santorini – Travel to Santorini for Wine Tasting and Grape Stomping Tour
The palace guards stand at attention in front of the rosy Neoclassical architecture of the House of Parliament in Syntagma Square. The soldiers dress in the traditional Evzone style reflecting the elite military unit serving as the Presidential Guard. They step with choreographed precision enhanced by their pristine uniform of white skirts, leggings, red berets, and heavy shoes during the changing of the guard. After breakfast, your private transfer escorts the family to the airport for your brief flight to Santorini, the famous crescent-shaped island surrounding a caldera of crystal-clear azure water in the Aegean Sea. The famous whitewashed walls of the houses shimmer beneath bright blue rooftops and window shutters.
Donkeys carry luggage up the switchback trails leading to the main city of Fira. Your private transfer takes you to a family-owned vineyard producing wine on the island since the 17th century. The roots thrive in the volcanic soil, which absorbs abundant minerals in the ground producing a more intense flavor inside the grapes. Your guide explains the history of the winery as you search for the specific aromas of the wine. While you sample four different wines from the winery with vines across the island landscape, the kids take off their shoes and socks before stepping barefoot into the barrel full of grapes. They squish the ripe, juicy peels between their toes in the tradition of macerating grapes before mechanized wine presses.
Santorini – Cruise the Caldera, Hike the Volcano and Enjoy Hot Springs
The entire family basks in the beauty of Santorini at breakfast by enjoying orange juice or coffee on the rooftop with a view over the staggering cliffs. The breeze carries the aromas of briny water mixed with the arid soil along the gray and black lava bluffs. You venture to the marina and board a sailboat bound for the caldera. The captain explains to the kids about how the island formed and that a caldera means the seawater filled in the active volcanic crater. The boat weighs anchor at the uninhabited island of Nea Kameni. Repeated eruptions have caused the islands to grow around the caldera, including Nea Kameni which was first referenced by a Roman historian in the year 47 AD.
You traverse the trails leading to the summit of the island with an area of less than one and a half square miles searching for the active sulfur vents and sporadic patches of red succulent tufts. The volcanic crater is located at nearly 427 feet above sea level providing sensational views over the shimmering caldera. You board the boat and stop drifting on the water a few hundred feet from the shores of the volcanic soil. The kids quickly jump into the clear jade water finding pockets of warmth created by the underwater steam vents resulting in natural hot springs.
Crete – Explore Ancient Akrotiri before the High-Speed Ferry to Crete
The wind whips across the cliff-tops in the morning but quickly fades to a comfortable breeze carrying the scent of the water up from the caldera. After breakfast, your guide greets the family at the hotel and leads you to the uncovered ancient city of Akrotiri. The kids marvel at the mythology of the historical site thought by some historians to be the legendary city of Atlantis. Like a Greek Pompeii, the city was covered with ash and pumice stone during the 17th century BC volcanic eruption, the same explosion that caused the caldera.
Archeological discoveries have shown life on the island before the eruption to be one of prosperity derived from shipping and trading industries. Continued excavation brings an air of excitement pulsing along the walkways passing through the city. Buildings range between single-story and three-story structures with bits of pottery still containing wine, olive oil, and fish. Nearly all the homes showcase the affluence of the city’s residence through frescoes decorating the walls. Your guide points out the Lilies fresco decorating three walls from Building Delta depicting papyrus or lilies growing out of volcanic rock amid fluttering swallows.
Crete – Traverse Spinalonga Fortress and Relax with a Half-Day at Leisure
The small waves break against rocky shoals of the harbor at Elounda. The breeze carries the mist over the lush coastline and through the streets of the idyllic fishing village. After breakfast, your family ventures across the water to Spinalonga Island. The clear turquoise and azure sea have an alluring crystal quality glimmering in the sunlight. The radiant hues contrast the golden color of the stones creating Spinalonga Fortress towering above the Aegean. You arrive at Dante’s gate leading into a 65-foot long tunnel. A half-mile trail leads to the ruins of a church, the disinfection room, and the hospital connoting a time the island acted as a leper colony in the early 20th century.
Venetians erected the defensive walls in the 16th century creating an impenetrable fortress protecting the main Cretan harbor. The uninhabited island has an eerie but captivating ambiance deriving from its long history of battles in addition to its past as a leper colony. Small pebbled beaches surround the island leading into shallow, warm waters. After returning to your grand accommodations in Elounda, you can relax on comfortable lounge chairs at the edge of the lapping waters or venture inland for a delicious tour of a traditional Cretan farm crafting fantastic olive oil and sensational cheese.
Crete – Uncover Historical Palace of Knossos before Greek Cooking Class
The Island of Crete takes the family back in time thousands of years to the thriving Minoan civilization personified in the ruins at the Palace of Knossos. The island’s most famous historical attraction gave rise to the legend of the minotaur. Columns glow with a red glint, gold trim, and black capitals. Frescoes bring added dimension to the intricate complex encompassing nearly four square miles. King Minos erected the palace with a series of vast courtyards used for “Bull Leaping,” when a participant would run toward a bull, grab the charging animal by the horns, and attempt to leap over their back. Giant clay jars known as pithoi once held culinary staples like oil, wine, and fish.
Alabaster decorates the walls of the Throne Room surrounding a chair also made of alabaster. Frescoes depicting griffins add mythical layers to walls. Archeologists believe the tank in the room once acted as an aquarium. You continue to a small farm where sheep and goats graze on the hillside. Your instructor welcomes the family with a friendly, wide grin. You snack on olives before learning the easy steps to making homemade tzatziki. You use grated cucumber drained of water, let the garlic rest in the yogurt, and add dill, salt, and pepper for a tangy spiced flavor. The easy recipe allows the family to nibble as you begin making more intricate meze, traditional small Greek dishes.
Crete – Depart for Home
The town of Chania overlooks the quiet waters of the Aegean Sea lapping against the breakwater at the harbor while nestled into the mountains. Venetian sophistication emanates from the colorful, elegant homes along the waterfront leading into a warren of romantic narrow lanes painted with bright pastels. The isolated eastern shores boast Palm Beach, a stretch of sand shaded by towering palm trees. The pebbled coast offers a gorgeous escape from the dry summer of the Mediterranean climate. After breakfast, your private transfer greets you at the hotel and escorts you to the international airport at Heraklion where you board your flight home.
- Enjoy the immersive mythical ambiance of the Acropolis in Athens, home to the iconic classical temple of the Parthenon
- Trek to the summit of an active volcano rising out of the caldera of Santorini before swimming in hot springs warmed by the natural geothermal activity
- Follow in the footsteps of the infamous minotaur at the Palace of Knossos, an ancient Minoan archeological site on Crete
- Speak to the Oracle at Delphi during an elaborate tour through the ancient spiritual city clinging to the side of Mount Parnassus
- Discover Greece’s Pompeii at Akrotiri, a once-thriving Minoan port city covered in ash during a volcanic eruption
- Relish the chance to stomp grapes in the traditional macerating process at a historic winery on Santorini
- Delight in the flavors of Greek meze, traditional small plates, during a private family-friendly cooking class
- Watch the sunset at Cape Sounion where the colorful sky reflects against the marble pillars of the Temple of Poseidon
The splendors of Greece embody the foundations of Western Civilization uncovered by archeology and shared by the preserved culture around the country. Your personalized family vacation in Greece is perfect for children of any age, whether fans of Greek mythology or interested in visiting the famous beaches of the Cycladic islands. The vibrant life of the country immerses you in the ancient artifacts emerging from the landscape in the form of unearthed towns and religious sites acting like open-air museums boasting the iconic imagery of the country from the Parthenon to whitewashed houses with blue rooftops.
Your ultimate family vacation begins in Athens, the capital of Greece, and the cradle of the Western World. The distinct neighborhoods embody the evolution of Greece, ranging from ancient life in the shadow of the Acropolis to the daily luxuries of modern living. The historical district at the heart of the city features Classical architecture crafted during the Golden Age of Athens to the Roman occupation. Discover the marvels of the ancient world in the New Archeological Museum or by wandering around the Plaka.
A tour of the Acropolis boasts marble stairs, elegant pillars, and idyllic style leading to the Parthenon. The Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion was erected around the same time as the Parthenon and provides a great place for the family to enjoy the sunset over the southwestern shores of mainland Greece. A full day in Delphi connects the family to the unique center of religious life connected to the famous Oracle. The archeological museum presents remarkable original treasures spanning thousands of years while the historic city retains its stadiums, statues, theater, and temple grounds.
The island of Santorini is one of Greece’s most famous landscapes. It is known for the sparkling caldera, sensational cliffs, whitewashed architecture and spectacular sunsets, the island provides the perfect opportunity for the family to explore life in the Aegean. A wine tour allows you to relax sampling historical vintages as the kids stomp grapes testing their skills in the rich tradition of maceration. Sail the caldera with a knowledgeable captain offering insight into the formation of the island, the history of the people, and the best place to swim in the hot springs. Hike to the top of the volcano and spend a moment relaxing on one of Santorini’s celebrated beaches. The ancient city of Akrotiri reveals life in a thriving Minoan port city before the infamous volcanic eruption occurred.
Crete is the largest of Greece’s Cycladic islands boasting the splendor of welcoming beaches, charming towns along the coast and in the hills, in addition to dramatic gorges cutting across the interior landscape. A rich history of Minoan civilization leads to centuries of Venetian rule resulting in impressive fortresses, colorful homes, and elegant harbors. Enjoy exploring the small island of Spinalonga adorned with fascinating fortifications. Learn the art of crafting goat cheese on a farm and discover how simple ingredients can lead to bold flavors during a family-friendly cooking class crafting traditional small dishes known as meze. Explore the vast Minoan royal complex at the Palace of Knossos and enjoy the beautiful seaside views from the comforts of your resort-style accommodations.
Consider learning more about our travelers’ best Greece vacation experiences by reading their Greece travel reviews.
$2,245 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
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Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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